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Emerg Infect Dis. 1998 Oct-Dec;4(4):539-50.

Diphtheria in the former Soviet Union: reemergence of a pandemic disease.

Author information

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA. cxv3@cdc.gov

Abstract

The massive reemergence of diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union marked the first large-scale diphtheria epidemic in industrialized countries in 3 decades. Factors contributing to the epidemic included a large population of susceptible adults; decreased childhood immunization, which compromised what had been a well-established childhood vaccination program; suboptimal socioeconomic conditions; and high population movement. The role of a change in the predominant circulating strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae in this epidemic remains uncertain. Massive, well-coordinated international assistance and unprecedented efforts to vaccinate adults were needed to control the epidemic.

PMID:
9866730
PMCID:
PMC2640235
DOI:
10.3201/eid0404.980404
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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